COVID-19 has stopped us in our tracks.
The Earth has noticed.
In the middle of all of the bad linked to COVID-19, there is a good.
We notice that good today, April 22 – Earth Day.
The skies are cleaner. The waters are clearer. The animals are happier and healthier.
Levels of nitrogen dioxide – a component of smog created mainly from burning fossil fuels – have dropped over major US cities since March “stay at home” orders were put in place.
In the air over New York City, Columbia University found a 50% drop in carbon monoxide emissions, a 5-10% drop in carbon dioxide emissions, likely a result of the drop in traffic.
Now, a pandemic is a terrible way to improve the environment.
COVID-19 has brought to us hurt and heartache.
It has also brought us a “what if…?” What if we learned life-long, life-changing lessons about how we treat the environment?
We will return to our jobs, to our favorite restaurants, to our hair stylists, to our traveling plans, to our ballgames and concerts. We want that.
But, maybe we won’t return to “dominating” and “mistreating” our environment.
Maybe that will change.
Maybe we’ll see the planet like the Hebrew story of creation pictures God seeing the universe, as something “good.”
The Hebrew word for “good” is used in Exodus 2:2 which records the birth of Moses. The writer says that his mom saw that he was a “beautiful” boy. Are you singing John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” right now? “Good” in Genesis is the same Hebrew word as “beautiful” in Exodus 2:2.
The planet is beautiful. The planet is good. God loves it. So should I.
The day of my spiritual awakening
Was the day I saw and knew I saw
All things in God and God in all things.
Mechtild of Magdeburg (1212-1282)